British novelist Bingham's US debut novel: the story of a mistreated girl from New Hampshire who is swept off her feet by charming Irishman—and into the world of high-stakes horse-racing. Cassie McGann is brought up by her monstrous grandmother, but everyone else seems to love her until, at an exclusive boarding school, she makes a mortal enemy of rich, spoiled Leonora von Wagner by beating her at tennis. Rejected by her local sweetheart because of her illegitimate birth, Cassie runs away to New York and starts work in the lingerie department at Bergdorf's—where she meets racehorse-trainer Tyrone Rosse, who immediately proposes, having recently dismissed his mistress (Leonora's mother!). He and Cassie go on to enjoy a passionately happy marriage at his family home in Ireland, in spite of his reckless extravagance, the death of their second child, and Leonora's attempts to ruin their relationship and their finances. But when Tyrone is killed by a horse's kick, Cassie must then deal with men—some of them unscrupulous—who find her a desirable widow; she determines to take over as trainer (although, as a woman, she cannot be licensed) and fulfill Tyrone's dream by breeding a Derby winner—despite Leonora's wicked scheming. Throughout, the equine characters are more believable than the humans. Horseflesh fanciers will find much to like; for others, a moderately entertaining, if not terribly memorable, saga.
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